Mar 20, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; A general view of a puck during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Phoenix Coyotes at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Coyotes 4-3 in the overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Around the League: Tonight’s Matchups – October 3rd

As the season starts to kick into full swing, we have 8 games on tonight’s National Hockey League schedule.

There are 15 teams that will be opening up their season tonight, and one that is looking to redeem themselves after an opening night loss.

So, let’s start at the beginning as we give you a look around the league tonight.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins

First up tonight is the Lightning vs. Bruins. The Tampa Bay Lightning will storm into the TD Garden in Boston to go head-to-head with the Boston Bruins. Both teams will be opening up their schedules tonight, and both hungry for a win. The Tampa Bay Lightning, who went 5-2 in the preseason, will be looking to carry that momentum into the regular season.

This will be their first game with their new captain, Martin St. Louis.

The Bruins, who went 6-1 during the preseason, will certainly be just as hungry. After coming so close to winning the Stanley Cup last season before their crushing defeat by the champion Chicago Blackhawks, you can be rest assured that they are primed and ready to chase the cup once again.

Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Network: SUN, NESN


New Jersey Devils vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Next on tonight’s schedule are the Devils vs. Penguins. Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will open the doors to the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh as they host the New Jersey Devils in their 2013-14 Home Opener.

The Devils will definitely be trying something new. It is being reported that the Devils will be going with newly acquired goaltender Cory Schneider in lieu of Martin Brodeur.

Unfortunately for the Penguins, they will be without starting goaltender Tomas Vokoun who is expected to miss 3-6 months after undergoing surgery to dissolve a blood clot in his pelvis. Instead, starting in net will be Marc-Andre Fleury.

Both teams are going to be hungry, and looking to open their respective seasons with a notch in the win column.

Time: 7:00 p.m.



Calgary Flames vs. Washington Capitals

Also starting in the 7:00 p.m. window is the Flames vs. Capitals. Tonight, the Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals will throw open the doors to the Verizon Center in Washington, DC as they host the Calgary Flames tonight.

I’m sure that Caps goaltender Braden Holtby will be looking for redemption tonight against the Flames, as three unanswered goals in the third period brought the Caps to their first loss of the season against the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

Calgary, on the other hand, is a team plagued with change. One of the most apparent is their loss of goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff this season to retirement. Taking his place in net will be goaltender Karri Ramo.

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Network: TSN, CSN-DC


Los Angeles Kings vs. Minnesota Wild

Starting in the 8:00 p.m. slot tonight is the Kings vs. Wild. The Minnesota Wild will be hosting the Los Angeles Kings in their home opener tonight at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Kings have made appearances in the Western Conference Finals for two consecutive seasons, falling just shy of their cup aspirations last season. You can bet that Captain Dustin Brown and the rest of the Kings organization will be looking to get that chase started early with a notch in the win column on opening night.

You can guarantee that players like Ryan Suter and Zach Parise won’t just be sitting on their heels. After their appearance in the playoffs last season, they got a healthy taste of what it is like to compete for the league’s biggest honor. That is not something that is easily forgotten, and surely something they look to experience again. A notch in the win column tonight would be a good way to get on the road to that goal, because in hockey, every point counts.

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Network: NBCSN, TSN2


Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues

At 8:30 p.m. tonight, the doors to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis will come flying open as the St. Louis Blues host the Nashville Predators in their 2013-14 Home Opener.

Captain Shea Weber will certainly be looking for the Predators to get an early start in the win column this season. They will be looking to newly drafted defenseman Seth Jones to shine tonight as well. The Predators have reached the playoffs in 7 of the last 8 seasons. It would stand to reason that they are looking to repeat that performance this year.

ESPN is reporting that the St. Louis Blues will more than likely be looking to start goaltender Jaroslav Halak between the pipes tonight.

You can expect goaltender Pekka Rinne in net for the Predators tonight.

Time: 8:30 p.m.

Network: FS-TN, FS-MW


Florida Panthers vs. Dallas Stars

Next on tonight’s schedule are the Panthers vs. Stars. The Florida Panthers will travel to Dallas to go head-to-head with the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center as Captain Jamie Benn and the Stars host their Home Opener.

The Stars will be looking to newly appointed Head Coach Lindy Ruff for guidance to bring them out of their disappointing 5 season slump. On the other side of the ice, the Panthers will be looking to their newly acquired Stanley Cup winning goaltender Tim Thomas to backstop them to victory.

A familiar face to Thomas will be the young Tyler Seguin, who was acquired by the Stars in exchange for Loui Eriksson during the offseason.

The Panthers will also be looking to forward Jonathan Huberdeau to continue his goal scoring from his impressive rookie season.

Both teams are hungry for a win, the only question now is who wants it more.

Time: 8:30 p.m.

Network: FS-F, FS-SW


New York Rangers vs. Phoenix Coyotes

In the first of two late night games tonight, the Phoenix Coyotes will go head-to-head with the New York Rangers. Tonight will be the home opener for the Coyotes, as all the action takes place at the Arena in Glendale.

Both teams have made significant changes since last season. The Coyotes are finally finished with their management issues and have new owners in place. The Rangers have a new face behind the bench in new Head Coach Alain Vigneault.

Phoenix will be looking to their goaltender Mike Smith, who was recently signed to a six-year extension. They will be looking to him to hold things down in net after a season that was plagued with injuries last year. With a new contract in place, it will be vital for Smith to perform at the top of his game.

The Rangers will have center Derek Stepan in their corner tonight, after the Rangers were finally able to hammer out his contract last week.

Both teams have traveled a long and winding road during the offseason to prepare for tonight. They’ll both be hungry and looking for a win when the buzzer sounds tonight in Phoenix.

Time: 10:00 p.m.

Network: MSG, FS-A


Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks

The last game on the schedule tonight will be the Canucks vs. Sharks. Dan Boyle and the San Jose Sharks will be throwing open the doors to the SAP Center in San Jose as they play host to the Vancouver Canucks.

You can expect new Head Coach John Tortorella to be looking to goaltender Roberto Luongo to hold his own between the pipes tonight for Vancouver. During the offseason, his departure from the team looked imminent when the team made the shocking decision to send goaltender Cory Schneider to New Jersey.

On the other side of the ice, the Sharks will be looking to their #1 goaltender Antti Niemi to backstop them to victory. The Finnish goaltender was named one of the finalists for the Vezina Trophy last season for his stellar performance during the lockout shortened season.

Last season, the Sharks won all three regular season encounters against the Canucks. You can bet your bottom dollar that the Canucks will be looking to exact some revenge tonight for those bitter losses. What better revenge than to beat them in their own house on opening night?

Time: 10:00 p.m.

Network: TSN, CSN-CA


Check back with us tonight, and we will keep you up to date on how these games unfold.

Tags: Boston Bruins Calgary Flames Dallas Stars Florida Panthers Los Angeles Kings Minnesota Wild Nashville Predators New Jersey Devils New York Rangers NHL Phoenix Coyotes Pittsburgh Penguins San Jose Sharks St. Louis Blues Tampa Bay Lightning Vancouver Canucks Washington Capitals

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